Napoleonic Yoing


I am sure that most of us have read about Napoleon and his troops using yo-yos to releave stress. I can’t keep from wondering what they did with them. Was this before the doubled over twisted yo-yo string? They had to be doing more then just throw downs.

(DarkPirate) #2

Period drawings mostly show just up and down throws but there are a few showing forward pass and its likely that yoyoers of the time period were able to do alot of the basic non-sleeping tricks. As far as the string is concerned the twisted modern string style came about in the 1920’s. I believe it was on a yo-yo that was a precursor to the Original Duncan imperial but I didn’t take time to confirm it. Napoleon’s Yoyo would have had the string tied directly to the axle. It was likely a one piece yoyo carved from wood. I’m not sure what tricks he individually was able to do but the yoyo was a popular toy for the french nobility during his time period so its likely he and his men could do more then just a basic throw down.
Its hard to find good sources on this but I did my best :slight_smile: hope that helps


That is a very good reply :wink:
Is anyboby keeping track of things for posterity these day as far as yo-yoing goes?
There has been a lot of advancements, styles, and tricks in the past several years.


From what I have seen there is far more to the history of juggling than yoing and it aint all that great.


Check YouTube.

One of the issues is that new tricks are being invented constantly, either intentionally or accidentally. Most aren’t being named, most aren’t being made into tutorials either because there’s simply too much.

The best documentation comes from the indies making videos of contests like Josh Yee does, as well as Sector Y, even YYE, as just a few examples. These help show the environment and vibe that goes with the yoyo community. The rest are contest videos., which while is more of a competition showcase, still gives you a barometer of where things are at any given place and time.

There’s still lots of people trying to do trick videos. However, quality takes time and time is in short supply in many cases. Still, people are doing and trying.

Every little bit helps.

We know yoyo is a very old or ancient toy. It’s made gigantic progress since the 1920’s, being virtually unrecognizable from the original yoyo outside of the basic concept of item on a string. I don’t think people really bothered to document “activity and advancement of toys” for things that didn’t need patents or technology to assemble. In many ways, despite the age, it’s been re-invented and is a fairly new toy in the bigger scope of things(history of man), but can still be looked at as an old toy in the more modern sense since it seems anything that can last 10-15 solid years is “classic” now.


I was just reading through this.

Look how much the Nixon / Acuff throw sold for  :o


I’m going to put my neck on the line here… and argue that 4A was invented a couple thousand years ago when some Greek kid’s string snapped and he managed to catch his terracotta disk on the string.


Nixon and Acuff throwing. Check it out?


But, did it come back up the string?


No. Flowable silicone hadn’t been invented yet and he was using a worn out string and didn’t know how to bind. Had he only waiting another 2500 years for YouTube… so sad!